When Tristen came to Angel House in December 2018, she had spent nearly a year living on the streets. During that time, she did a lot of walking. Her socks were worn and her shoes, “had holes on the bottom of them,” she said. “Your feet take a lot of wear and tear when you’re homeless.”
Recently, Tristen was one of 11 Angel House clients to receive new sneakers, thanks to the generosity of the Osterville Men’s Club.
This is the second year the club has made this donation to the women at the Hyannis shelter who are all in recovery. Club member Paul Ruane delivered the sneakers, telling the women that “there are 200 other members of the Osterville Men’s Club cheering you on.”
Angel House residents walk twice a week, for roughly an hour, an activity that “gives their mind and body a much-needed physical boost to help them in their recovery,” said Case Manager Kirsten Abrahamson who leads the exercise group. “It helps reduce their anxiety and gets their blood pumping.”
One client has lost over 60 pounds. Another, Kaitlyn, said that when she walks, “I feel free.”
The men’s club purchased the sneakers at cost from Hanlon Shoes in Hyannis. Store owner Kevin Petrovek spent time with each client to make sure the sneakers fit and conformed to the way they walk.
Angel House Director Lin Rohr said that personalized attention was particularly meaningful. “The women aren’t used to it,” she said. “This gift makes such a tremendous statement to our women that somebody cares about them enough to get something new that is right for them. It is really a powerful thing.”